AMARC link, Volume 13, Number 1-2-, March and June, 2009.

Climate Change Challenges: Building Bridges Through Community Radio

   

The scientific reality of climate change has finally been recognised and the report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change has set the background for what has become one of the key development challenges of the 21st century (see http://www.ipcc.ch). Climate change effects will roll back development successes unless mitigation and adaptation strategies are grounded in collaborative strategic approaches between global and local actors. Community Radio can become an important bridge by its communication for development tool nature. Furthermore, through the appropriate use of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) they can favor the interaction between global and local strategies, between local knowledge and international science, thus increasing the effects of the interventions where they are most needed.

Community Radio practitioners and community media have been using new ICTs, mainly Internet and cell phones to increase the awareness of the effects of climate change in local communities around the world: among others, natural disaster prevention and management; increased challenges on food security, health, water and sanitation.

Community radio projects for climate change mitigation and adaptation are closely linked to the objective of producing radio programming with the participation of the community, on giving voice to individuals and local organisations. They value local knowledge and facilitate critical knowledge exchange at the international level with experts and institutions.

One example is the project “Disaster management and Poverty Reduction through Community radio” supported by the Ford Foundation, is developed by AMARC in the Asia pacific region in collaboration with Combine Resources Institution and the Association of Community Broadcasters (JRKI) in Indonesia and the AMARC Japan working group. (visit: http://asiapacific.amarc.org/index.php?p=25th_anniversary_training_Asia_pacific )

The project seeks to facilitate exchanges among CR in order to improve their social impact on delivery mechanisms in face of Tsunamis and the resulting poverty increase. It is a matter of reinforcing CR role as a forum for exchanges by community social actors by assessing current practices of community radios and determines how to increase the effectiveness of community radio interventions.

Other CR network interventions are related to combat the consequences of climate change on water, on food security and poverty. Variations in water quantity and quality due to climate change challenge agriculture practices, and the instability results in increasing food prices.

The Forum on challenges of climate change, of Onda Rural, an initiative of AMARC LAC, in partnership with ALER and FAO allows for knowledge exchange between Community Radio practitioners and stakeholders on climate change effects. (Visit http://onda-rural.net ). Community radios participating in the global broadcast on October 16, World Food Day increasingly includes subjects related to the effects of climate exchange and the mitigation and adaptation strategies proposed by social and institutional actors. (Visit http://asiapacific.amarc.org/index.php?p=World_Food_Day_2008&l=EN&nosafe=0)
The time has come for the global community radio movement, to reflect on how to better contribute to reinforce the role of the third sector of communications, community media, in the struggle against climate change. There is need to highlight local knowledge and experiences on fighting the effects of climate change and make the link with the international debate, the science and strategies of global institutions.

AMARC world-wide network challenge is to contribute to reinforce the pivotal role of its community radio as the centre of a communication for development process of individuals and social actors that exercise their communication rights in the struggle against climate change


Marcelo Solervicens
Secretary General of AMARC

 

News From the World Social Forum

   

On the 9th World Conference of radio Broadcasters, in Amman, Jordan, in November 2006, as part of their effort to empower the relations with the social movements, the members of AMARC defined as a priority the World Social forum and the social movements’ activities.

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WSF 2009 Alternatives Are Available in the Site of AMARC

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, (AMARC) covered for its global network the social alternatives to neo-liberal policies discussed by civil society organizations in the World Social Forum 2009 (WSF) hold in Bélem do Pará- Brazil, from January 27- February 1st.

The World Social Forum of Bélem, in Brazil, finished on Sunday, February 1st , after six days of debates and demonstrations which gathered more than 150.000 members of social movements, networks, ONGs and other organizations of the civil society to analyze the international economic crisis and to propose citizens’ alternatives. This meeting "for a different globalization" was participated by five Latin-American Chiefs of State: Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Fernando Lugo and a dozen of Brazilian Ministers. A clear indication of the increasing importance of this civil society forum.

Community Radio journalists from Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas, including AMARC information agency Pulsar in collaboration with other citizen media such as IPS, covered the activities of the WSF 2009. To access the radio and document archives in English, French, Spanish and other languages, visit http://www.amarc.org/EN/World_Social_Forum_2009_EN

Notes from the World Social Forum, 2009.

By Shane Elson, Australia.

The 9th World Social Forum (Forum Social Mundial) was held in Belém, Brazil between January 27 and February 1, 2009. 150,000 participants were involved in almost 2,400 activities and actions during the week. By far the largest number of participants was from South America and over 4,100 organisations from that region had a presence.

What I found particularly encouraging was the gender balance of the panels at almost all of the sessions I attended. I don’t know if this was the norm or not. Maybe I was lucky. Nonetheless, during these sessions, women from all backgrounds were given prominent positions as speakers and presenters. From academics to lawyers, mothers to craft workers, women were able to address the topics and present their perspectives first hand.



However, what was not as encouraging was that, generally, the women presented a bleak outlook on their experience. For instance, during one session “Livelihoods are Every Woman’s Human Right” Sonia Costa, from “Beyond the Food International Network” spoke about the links between land evictions and livelihoods.

She related how, within the Brazilian experience, many more young women now have access to education and the potential to become income earners and therefore more independent. At the same time, the level of poverty in outer urban and rural areas is rising. Coupled with this is the compulsory acquisition of land by the government (sometimes working with corporations) and how this disrupts family and communal life, particularly the lives of women.

Even though there are laws to protect land owners, government policies have not protected agrarian workers, in particular, and their families. Women bear the brunt of these policies in many ways. Young women are sent to school and potentially given an opportunity to escape their poverty but when the father is killed or loses the ability to earn a living, the whole family, including the children, is recalled to work thus depriving them of the right to education.

In many regions women are spearheading reforms and the struggle for justice and land rights. Often sellers impose huge interest payments on land buyers which leads to a poverty cycle that becomes generational. So, while for some, there is way out – though better education and the opportunities it presents – many still struggle to rise out of their low status. This then, impacts on the ability of many women to achieve their dreams and their basic human right of obtaining a stable and sustainable livelihood.

Speakers from India, Vietnam, Uruguay and the Philippines also related similar stories. It seems, therefore, that, in relation to women’s rights, the World Social Forum presents its participants with a challenge.

The slogan of the WSF is “Another World is Possible” and it seems that in order for that hope to become a reality, a renewed solidarity is needed. This solidarity calls to all men and women to continue to network and develop combined strategies that seek to achieve basic human rights and obtain sustainable livelihoods. But not only this. The role of women in society will not change and the opportunities for their full and equal participation in society will not eventuate until drastic changes are pushed through.

As Ana Filippini from the Uruguay based, “World Wide Forest Movement” said, a new world is not possible unless men and women unite to change those things that deprive people of their basic human rights and the ability for them to, at the least, attempt to realize their hopes and dreams of achieving their basic right to a sustainable livelihood.

Shane Elson is a community radio worker in Australia and the treasurer of AMARC Asia Pacific. All photos are by Shane Elson. He can be contacted at shane@araustralia.org.

News From the World Social Forum International Council

Maria Pia Matta Vicepresident for AMARC Latin America and the Caribbean participated in the International Council Meeting of the World Social Forum held in Rabat, Morocco, beginning of June. The International Council decided to organise a global movilisation events in 2010 and to hold the next World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, in January 2010. It will be second ocasion the global civil society will gather in African soil; the first time it was in 2006, in Nairobi, Kenya. For further information visit: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/


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AMARC Women International Network Perspectives

   

The AMARC Women's International Network is a large assembly of women communicators working to ensure women's right to communicate through and within the community radio movement. To find out about other WIN programs and actions visit http://www.win.amarc.org


MARCH 8, Coverage

AMARC-WIN Celebrated March 8 Focusing on Current Global Crises!


On March 8, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Women’s International Network (AMARC-WIN) celebrated Women’s international day with a 24-hour Worldwide Webcast highlighting the effects of the global crises on women in local communities. Listen to the archives of the AMARC-WIN international broadcast on http://march8.amarc.org

The campaign presented women’s rights and gender issues. More exactly this year theme focused in the effects of food price increases, the economic crisis and the environmental degradation caused by climate changes: “Global Crises and Challenges to Women on Local Communities ”. Furthermore the AMARC-WIN proposed for discussion the Gender Policy for Community Radio. Please visit: http://win.amarc.org

The AMARC-WIN International Women’s Day Campaign was broadcast in English, French, Spanish, Arab, and other languages. For a list of programs and to access the archives, please visit our website http://march8.amarc.org. They are already available for download. We encourage you to rebroadcast the programs to your communities!

We invite you to join us next year in the sixth International AMARC WIN Women’s Day broadcast Campaign in 2010!

Gender Policy for Community Radio

Preamble

Women’s equality and the important role of women in every field of human endeavor have been acknowledged by international instruments, national constitutions and societies across the globe. The rights of all people, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, have been acknowledged under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Further, governments have acknowledged the rights of women under the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Under this Convention, governments are obliged to implement concrete programs to put into practice three main principles: the principle of equality, the principle of nondiscrimination and the principle of State obligation.

The role of the media in promoting the women’s equality is vital. It is recognized in Section J of the Beijing Platform for Women, adopted by consensus in 1995. This section draws attention to the active involvement of women in the media, but their general absence from decision-making positions in all forms of media. It also points to the urgent need for reform and puts on obligation on States to undertake steps such as training, research and promotion of women into positions of decision-making power. It also points an obligation onto media practitioners to help achieve the two outlined strategic objectives to increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision making in and through the media and new information communication technologies (ICTs); and to promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media. Community radio should be at the forefront of achieving these objectives. The advent of the internet and online communications provides opportunities for women to network and communicate on an equitable footing. The majority of women, however, live in developing nations, where their access to all forms of technology is severely limited. The needs of women in developing countries, and those limited in their access to technology in developed countries, need to be taken into account not only by community radio practitioners, but also by policy-makers at every level of society, from local governments to international governing bodies. Unfortunately, policy-making has largely ignored women’s needs online, leading to an environment that has been largely designed by and for men, and which worsens both the information gap between men and women as well as the negative portrayals, overt commercialization and sexualisation of the female body. Community radio can play a role in helping to bring these specific concerns to the policy table, and promoting the role of women both in the use of ICTs, and redressing this political imbalance.

Internationally, the role of women in preventing and resolving conflict and in peace-building has been recognised through United Nations Security Council resolution 1325. Community radio has the responsibility to help ensure women’s visibility and participation in these situations, providing spaces for women’s voices to be heard in the peace-building process and addressing women’s and girls’ specific needs in conflict situations. Community radio has an obligation to redress the imbalance; facilitate women’s involvement at all levels of decision-making and programming; ensure that women’s voices and concerns are part of the daily news agenda; ensure that women are portrayed positively as active members of society; and support women acquire the technical skills and confidence to control their communications. Community radio is part of a progressive social movement, and as such stations should initiate and strengthen ties with progressive women’s movements. Stations also have an obligation to implement and enforce an ethical policy that includes respect for women and equality as one of its cornerstones. This Gender Policy for Community Radio will serve as a tool to implement gender equality in stations. It should be part of station by-laws and ethical policies.




Section I

Women’s access to the airwaves

Women need to have access to the airwaves, in terms of the ability to make their own programs about political and social issues and entertainment, and also to have programs that deal with women’s issues.

This requires a positive attitude towards training for women, allowing women space to produce programs; and ensuring a supportive, secure environment in and around the station. This includes the development of anti-sexual harassment policy and a complaints mechanism to provide protection for women from any form of sexual harassment and molestation. Women also have the right to work without fear, so appropriate training in security and self-defense, zero tolerance for violations of women’s dignity and helping women deal with threats coming from both inside and outside the station form a key part in allowing women access to the airwaves.

Culturally, it is sometimes difficult for women to access the airwaves, due to their inability to travel alone or late at night. Efforts should be made to ensure that women are able to overcome these barriers, for example, through mobile radio stations, sharing of transport or the provision of escorts. Special technical training for women or women-only days at the station are ways of overcoming problems of confidence. Until women achieve parity, stations should commit to establishing a women’s desk within the radio station to support women’s participation and to safeguard them against all forms of discrimination within the station and on air; and to help in creating an affirmative environment for women’s equal participation.

Section II

Women’s representation on air


Encourage the representation of women in their diversity, instead of emphasizing stereotyped roles, such as within the family, for women.

Ensure that all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, etc are treated with respect and dignity in all aspects of the content broadcast on the station, whether as editorial content or advertisements. This includes ensuring that neither men nor women are objectified, physically or otherwise. Women’s perspectives should be represented in all programming. However, special programs must be allotted for women. At the same time women broadcasters should not be confined to these specific women’s programs.

Women are often neglected by the media as sources of expertise and expert opinion. Diverse sources, representative of all sectors of society, should be used for news and analysis programs. To facilitate this, it may be useful to make a directory of women experts in various fields that can be used as a reference point.

Section III

The special needs of minority women

The diversity of women’s experiences needs to be recognized, and space should be created for women who have faced further forms discrimination, oppression or neglect by commercial and state media. This includes special provisions for including differently-abled women, women from minority ethnic, caste or indigenous backgrounds and women from sexual minorities, such as lesbians and transgenders.

Ensure that women and people have access to the airwaves in their full diversity. In particular, give women from minorities, priority airtime to discuss their issues in an empowering, safe and nondiscriminatory environment.

The training and capacity building of women from these backgrounds and orientations may be unique, and funding should be included to ensure that these needs are met.

Section IV

Women’s representation at all levels of station management

Community radio has better women’s representation than either commercial or government-owned/public media. However, women are still largely underrepresented, particularly in areas of decision-making and technical skills and there are too many stations where there is no effective representation of women.

In order for women to be meaningfully represented at all levels of the community radio station, quotas for participation need to be set for ownership, management and production, including women’s participation in technical management. The ultimate goal is to reach equality between men and women, but quotas of at least 30% women’s representation should be set in the interim. To achieve these quotas, it is important to invest in women’s skills, to institute leadership and management training aimed at supporting women and achieve gender parity within the station.

Women’s participation cannot be measured by the number of women involved in the station. Women must be represented in the production, ownership and decision making bodies of the station to ensure that women are able to engage meaningfully with policy processes, which could include culturally sensitive supportive environment. There are multiple factors that can facilitate women’s participation. This includes ensuring child-care, flexible working hours and broadcast schedules that fit women’s other responsibilities, adequate lighting and security at the station during meeting and broadcast times, or secure transport for women who have to travel to and from the station, particularly at night or on public holidays. At least half of all training places should be reserved for women.

Section V

The use of appropriate technology

While some women are proficient in the use of ICTs, there remains a gendered digital divide and the majority is not. Women are often excluded from the use of technology, including the use of traditional technology, such as operating a radio studio. It is important to acknowledge this gendered digital divide and overcome it, through both dedicated technical training by and for women and investment in appropriate technologies.

Appropriate technologies include a commitment to free and open source software. This includes a studio set up that is easy to operate for women, bearing in mind physical differences, accounting for example that women are usually shorter than men – to ensure that the studio can be used by all, including differently able people. It also includes ensuring that training materials are accessible, translated into the local languages and adapted for non-literates, so that anyone can understand them.

There is also an urgent need to encourage research and support initiatives that help the poor and non-literate meet their communication needs, both through the development of technology that can be used by those who are non-literate; and through making cheaper technology available.

Section VI

Funding and capacity-building for women’s radio

Capacity-building is a key component for achieving gender parity. This does not only apply to capacity-building for women involved in the station, but for both men and women so that they can work together to build a safe, nurturing and supportive environment where all feel able to contribute their best to all aspects of the station’s success.

At the same time, gender sensitivity training should be conducted for all participants at the radio station to enable men and women to recognize patriarchal behavior and discriminatory portrayals; and eventually develop egalitarian gender relations, and non-discriminatory and gender fair reporting.

While many stations have good intentions to achieve gender parity, rarely is funding or capacity-building dedicated to this goal. Specific funds and money should be set aside to achieve gender parity. These funds should be used to train women with technical, programming and management skills; invest in achieving conditions in the station that enable women to feel secure (such as lighting, security equipment or separate toilet facilities); and provide networking opportunities for women involved in the station.

From a structural point of view, it may be vital to have a women’s officer among the staff, advisory board or management committee who can assess the needs of the station and implement programs to help achieve gender parity, such as through a women’s desk.

2009 AMARC-WIN 16 Days Activism Campaign Against Gender Violence!

From November 25th to December 10th 2009 the AMARC Women International Network, WIN will be holding its fourth annual world broadcast campaign on 16 days against gender violence.

The main thematic days for the Campaign are November 25th : International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women; November 29th : International Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day; December 1: World AIDS Day; the December 6: Commemoration day of the Montreal Massacre; December 10th; the International Human rights Days.

This multilingual broadcasting mobilizes community radios on a theme of global importance promoting the use of new communication technologies such as Internet to make women voices heard. To participate in the 2009 AMARC-WIN 16 days campaign against gender violence contact secretariat@si.amarc.org


Making Airwaves for Peace Conference in Bangalore, India

Isis International in partnership with AMARC Asia pacific Women International Network, will be holding the seminar, “Women making Airwaves for Peace on 3-7 October in Bangalore, India, right before the 2nd Asia Pacific Conference. It will gather more than 30 women community radio broadcasters in a radio seminar on the role of community radio in peace building and disaster management. The seminar will enhance the skills of the participants in radio production and digital audio editing. It will sharpen their perspectives in engendered peace journalism, interview techniques, feminist broadcasting and more.


 

Amplifying the Voices of the Poor and the Excluded Through Capacity Building, Social Campaigns and Network Development of Community Radios

   

The Struggle for the Recognition of Community Radio

In the AMARC 9 World Conference, lack of legal recognition for Community Radio was considered the single most important barrier to the development of Community Radio as the third Tier of Communication.

NFCB Denounces Repression Against Journalists

April 4th , 2009, at the 34th General assembly of the National Federation of Community radio Broadcasters (NFCB) held in Portland, Oregon, Jim Ellinger, Elizabeth Robinson and Norman Stockwell of the AMARC North America network presented a resolution denouncing the increase on the attacks on journalists from all media and proponents of the rights of freedom of expression. The resolution indicates that “The National Federation of Community Broadcasters, a member organization of over 250 community radio stations and practitioners in the United States condemns these attacks and other similar ones and calls on the Obama Administration to do so and to insist on the immediate release of Laura Ling, Euna Lee and Roxana Saberi to the governments responsible. Further, we as community radio journalists and activists, call on our government and all governments to support the rights of a free and independent press as guaranteed under the UNDHR article 19 and the US constitution" . Please visit: http://www.nfcb.org/index.jsp

AMARC Expresses Solidarity and Support for Freedom of Expression in Fiji Islands

The 27 April 2009, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) announced that it is seriously concerned by the deteriorating political situation in the Fiji Island and by the state of freedom of expression following the 30-day state of emergency declared on 10 April, 2009. Under the decree of emergency, local news reports critical of the government have been banned and international media coverage subjected to censorship.

Ashish Sen, Vice-President for the Asia-Pacific Region of AMARC has said that the worsening situation in Fiji coupled with widespread media censorship and harassment of journalists has seriously jeopardised the functioning of the free media in Fiji. Extending his support and solidarity to the people of Fiji, Ashish has commended the continuation of women's community radio broadcasts pioneered by the AMARC member femLINKPACIFIC. “We view the work being carried out by femLINKPACIFIC as an important step towards empowerment of the Fijian society and leading towards reconciliation and harmony. I call upon the Fijian authorities to recognize community radio as a distinct sector of communications and to support its inherent capacity to promote peace by enabling women and other marginalised groups to participate in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace building,” he said.

AMARC and its members all over the world will continue to carefully watch the unfolding situation and support human rights and freedom of expression in the Fiji Islands.

For more information, please go to www.asiapacific.amarc.org or contact: Suman Basnet, Regional Coordinator, AMARC Asia Pacific, Kathmandu, Nepal, suman@wlink.com.np

AMARC Condemns the Attack on Community Radio Mukti in Nepal

On March 23, 2009, AMARC Asia Pacific denounced increased number of attacks against free media and freedom of expression in Nepal. Just within days of the attack on community radio Mahakali, another community radio station, Radio Mukti, run by a women’s group and located in the central region town of Butwal was vandalised and staff threatened by a group of students close to one of the parties governing Nepal on the night of Saturday, March 21, 2009.
Raghu Mainali of AMARC Asia Pacific has condemned the attack on Radio Mukti. Radio Mukti started test broadcasting from October 2008. The station is managed by an NGO run by women that aims to achieve equality for women through media currently broadcasts 18 hours a day.

AMARC Calls the Senegal Government to Lift Sanctions Against Community Radios

In March 2009, the regulatory body, Conseil National de Régulation de l’Audiovisuel (CNRA), ordered the sealing off of the transmitters of 3 community radios: Radio Oxyjeunes, Radio Afia and Radio Djolof which broadcast respectively from the working class neighborhoods of Pikine and Grand –Yoff in the capital city Dakar and from Liguere, a rural city in the north east of the country.

The regulatory body accused the 3 radios of intervening in the present political campaign and thus infringing on article 18 of the specifications the community radios have contracted and which prohibit them from broadcasting any program with a political content.

The Union des Radios Associatives et Communautaires de Sénégal, claim that to allow citizens to understand what is at stake and bringing elected officials at the local level to be brought to account and candidates to present their programs is at the heart of the mission of community radios. They point out that during the past 10 years they have approached both the Ministry of Communications and the regulatory body to advocate the revision of the Community Radio Specifications and Contract, notably its Article 18, in order to make it more conducive to the mission of community radios while insulating them from party politics.

Following pressure by AMARC and other organisations, the Senegal government lifted the sanctions but the legislation that led to the closure is still on place.

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) called on the government of Senegal, notably on the Ministry of Communications and on the CNRA to develop with all concerned parties a regulatory and legal framework more appropriate to contribute citizenship reinforcement and to local economic development.

AMARC Deeply Disturbed by Refusal to License Community Radio in Jordan Valley

Last February, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) expressed its concern and disappointment for the reject by the Jordan government of a request of a license for a women’s community radio in the Jordan Valley. According to Daoud Kuttab, Director of AmmanNet and AMARC Vice President, no explanation was given for the rejection. News reports have noted that 12 other independent radio and TV license requests were rejected at the same cabinet session.

AMARC called upon the government of Jordan to reverse its decision and to consider revising the Audio Visual Law in a way that will encourage rather than discourage the establishment of community based media. AMARC also drew the attention especially to the important work done by Jordanian media activists who recently submitted a draft alternative audio visual law to the Jordanian government, parliamentarians and civil society activists.

The Community Media Network of Spain is Constituted Legally

On May 24th, 2009, the Red de Medios Comunitarios (ReMC) of Spain was constituted legally to defend the right to create community media and to vindicate a public space of communication that guarantees the existence and the development of the Third Sector of the Communication. In addition, the ReMC will encourage the freedom of expression and the expression of ideas, opinions and information of all the people and groups through any media.

The ReMC considers that the social development, the human rights, the cultural and linguistic diversity and the rights of the women and the minorities are fundamental for the social transformation and conformation of a democratic culture

After more of a year and a half of elaboration and debate of these statutes, the document was approved in Madrid. The head office was established in Cuac FM (In Coruña). Please visit: http://www.medioscomunitarios.net/

New Legislation for Community Media in Austria

On May 2009, after 2 years of negotiations (and many more of lobbying) the Austrian Parliament finally passed a legislation on Community Media. The new legislation includes a legal definition of non-commercial Radio and Television as specific form of broadcasting media. It also creates a one million Euros "fund for noncommercial broadcasters (Radio, TV)" administered by the Austrian Media Regulator RTR and financed from parts of the broadcasting fees. See the full German version at:

http://www.parlament.gv.at/PG/DE/XXIV/I/I_00113/fname_156085.pdf

The Legislation Project Recognizes Community Radio in Argentina

A new project for a legislation on audio-visual communication services in Argentina was announced in May 2009 by National Executive authority. The project was considered by AMARC Argentina as in pace with the best international practices and recommendations and inter-American standards on Human rights. The project recognizes the not for profit sector and recognizes community radios as a part of a three tier system of communication. The project also reserves 33% of the radio electric spectrum for the not for profit community radio sector.

Criminal Fire Destroys Community Radio Activa, in Rio Negro, Argentina.

The Community radio Activa, that broadcast in El Bolson, Rio Negro province in Argentina, was totally destroyed by a criminal fire on June 3, 2009 . The Judge confirmed the fire was intentional. The Community Radio Alas FM denounced the criminal fire affected the radio right after Radio Active had opposed a project by the local government to close the Aeroclub. Please visit: http://legislaciones.item.org.uy/index?q=node/1010

Mexican Ministry Makes Radio Tierra y Libertad File a Criminal Case.

AMARC, Article 19 and others Freedom of Expression stakeholders denounced the legal action intended by the federal Mexican government against Hector Camero Haro of the community radio Tierra y Libertad of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. The organisations denounced the use of criminal law instead of administrative procedures as rendering freedom of expression a crime. For further information visit: http://legislaciones.item.org.uy/files/Comunicado_Camero_29may09_0.pdf


Chilean Government Reactivates Study of Community Broadcasting Legislation Reform


The Chilean parliament reactivated the study of the project reforming Community Radio broadcasting services. The Telecommunications undersecretary, Pablo Bello, indicated that the project will increase the power of community radios from 1 watt to 25 watts. The new legislation would allow for larger geographical coverage by existing community radios. http://legislaciones.item.org.uy/index?q=node/991

AMARC Participates in World Press Freedom day.

Steve Buckley, president of AMARC, participated in the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Conference in Doha, Qatar, May 3rd, 2009. The Conference issued the declaration : The Potential of media: Dialogue, Mutual Understanding and Reconciliation. AMARC members participated in national Activities all over the world to advocate for increased recognition of Community radio as the third Tier of Communication.

For further information visit: http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=27867&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

AMARC Deputy President Participates in the IFEX General Assembly

Aleida Calleja, Deputy-president of AMARC, participated first week of June 2009, in Oslo Norway, at the General Assemble of IFEX, (International Freedom of Expression Exchange). The meeting took place in Oslo as part of the Global Forum on Free expression which brought together more than 500 journalists, activists and writer in Oslo. http://www.ifex.org/international/2009/06/03/ifex_member_joint_actions/

Fourth Consultation Meeting on WSIS Action Line C9 "Media":

Steve Buckley, AMARC president participated in the Subgroup on Community Media at the World Summit of the Information Society Action Line C9 on Media, held in Geneva May 19, 2009. The WSIS follow-up meetings are organised by UNESCO to follow new community media services established; changes on legal and/or regulatory provision for community broadcasting, on the development of codes of practice; on the evolution of partnerships and networks, on gender equality and on the access to ICTs and connectivity and, the review of forthcoming events and activities. For further information visit: http://portal.unesco.org/ci/fr/ev.php-URL_ID=28683&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

AMARC Informal Mission to China.

From June 15-20, AMARC held an informal mission to China. The delegation was composed by Steve Buckely, President of AMARC, Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Representative of the Women International Network (AMARC WIN) and the AMARC Vice-president for Asia pacific, Ashish Sen. They set-up a blog with their comments and observations. Please visit: http://asiapacific.amarc.org/blog/

Digital Radio News: DRM+ Succesfully Trialed in Paris

The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) technology for broadcast at higher frequencies was successfully trialled in Paris on June 12, 2009.

David Blanc, SNRL (Syndicat National des Radios Libres) says: “Professor Dr Andreas Steil and his team (Mr. Schad and Mr. Köhler) from the University of Applied Sciences, Kaiserslautern, were able to put together a complete DRM+ broadcast system on Band 1 and agreed to test it in Paris. SNRL, which gathers over 300 local stations in France, has been trying to find a technical solution for the many stations which cannot join multiplexes for various reasons, including coverage area, cost and desire to remain in control of their broadcast operations. “

For more information and DRM updates please visit www.drm.org or subscribe to DRM news by writing to pressoffice@drm.org. For more information on SNRL: (33) 4 91.55.56.85, snrl@online.fr, and www.snrl.org

Digital Radio is Already in Australia.

Digital radio is arriving to cities all over Australia since May and the future seems at hand.

The new technology allows for photographs, text and to go forward and backward among other possibilities. Nonetheless the community sector has received less that a third of the broadcasting space allowed to commercial and national radio, meaning that the advantages of the digital area may be reduced to nothing. Now, community radios from Sidney should imagine the best way to use leftovers of the digital development. Pod cast link: http://2ser.podomatic.com/enclosure/2009-02-28T04_37_38-08_00.mp3

 

News from Community Radio and Stakeholders Network

   

The AMARC 10 Global Conference Will be Held in Argentina in 2010

The International Board of Directors of AMARC is pleased to announce that Argentina will be the host country for the tenth World Assembly of Community Radio Broadcasters to be held in the second half of 2010.

The decision of Argentina follows an open selection procedure that took into account, among other considerations, that it will be the first time that South America, where community radios were born 60 years ago, will be hosting the global conference of community radios. Furthermore, Argentina and the Latin America & Caribbean region is going through dynamic social changes and has a rich in experiences to share with the world movement of community radios.

AMARC 10 will be a weeklong event in the second half of 2010. It is expected to bring together more than 400 community broadcasters and stakeholders from over 110 countries and all regions of the world.

The NCRA Conference Was Held in Montreal

The national campus and Community Radio Association Conference was held this year from June 7-12 in Montreal, (Québec) Canada, and hosted by CKUT. The annual national gathering of community-oriented radio broadcasters has been offered every summer since 1981, and it is one of the core activities of the NCRA/ANREC. Campus and community broadcasters are brought together with respected experts for panel discussions, seminars and workshops. The conference covered many areas including: programming, management, starting a station, the CRTC, working with music labels, professional development, fundraising and more. Please visit http://ckut.ca/ncrc.php ; or http://www.ncra.ca/

4TH AMARC Africa Conference held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

147 Community Radio stakeholders from more than 30 countries gathered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 27-30 April, for the 4th Pan African Conference. They analyzed the challenges to development and the situation of CR in Africa and defined actions for “increasing the effectiveness of Community Radio in Poverty Reduction, Good Governance and Climate Change Adaptation”. The Conference ended today with the adoption of the Abidjan Declaration, the election of a new Board of Directors, the adoption of amendments to the AMARC Africa Constitution; and force lines for the strategic plan of AMARC Africa for 2009-2013. For further information visit: http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=Pan_African_Conferences

Community Radio stakeholders in plenary sessions, discussion groups, parallel activities of the Women international network, training for trainers and knowledge sharing workshops, exchanged experiences and practices of their work and interests, focused and pursued the concerns, achievements and challenges of AMARC Africa and their commitments on the theme of “increasing the effectiveness of Community Radio in Poverty Reduction, Good Governance and Climate Change Adaptation”.

The members and stakeholders of AMARC Africa, defined strategic lines of action of conflict resolution and good governance in Africa; On the strategies for Community Radio recognition and development; On the challenges to African communities by the need of strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation and the exercise of communication rights; On Gender equality and women’s rights strategies; On Community Radio Content development to ameliorate quality, content and pertinence of community radio programming on HIV-AIDS and development and governance issues; On reinforcing Community Radio Networks and; On embedding the social impact evaluation as a continuing activity in Community radios.

AMARC Africa members elected the new Board of Directors, composed by:

President (and Vice-president for West and Central Africa) Oumar Seck Ndiaye (URAC) Senegal, email oumar_seckndiaye@yahoo.fr

Vice president for Eastern and Southern Africa Franklin Huizies (NCRF) South Africa, email: franklin@ncrf.org.za

Treasurer Karamoko Bamba (URPCI) Côte d'Ivoire, email: karamokobam@hotmail.com
Women representative from Eastern and Southern Africa Benilde Nhalevilo (FORCOM) Mozambique, email benilde.nhalevilo@gnmail.com

Women Representative from West and Central Africa Habby Diallo (Radio Bélékan) Mali, habiba_dl@yahoo.fr

Institutional Development Zara Yacoub (DJA Fm) Tchad lightirene@yahoo.fr

Training Officer, Kofy Larweh, (GCRN) Ghana, email: kofilarweh@yahoo.fr

ICT Officer Jimmy Okello (Radio APAC) Uganda, email: jokello@hotmail.com

Established in 1997, AMARC-Africa is the African regional section of AMARC. It groups more than 400 direct members radios and federations from the entire continent. For further information: http://africa.amarc.org



ABIDJAN DECLARATION OF AFRICAN COMMUNITY RADIO BROADCASTERS
Adopted at the 4th Pan African Conference Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 30th April, 2009
Preamble

We the participants, representatives of community radio stations, of broadcasting production groups and of national federations and networks, journalists and activists from 40 African countries,

Together with delegates from international multilateral donor and developmental organizations as well as regional media support agencies, from community media organizations from Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe,

Have exchanged experiences and practices of our work and interests, focused and pursued the concerns, achievements and challenges of AMARC Africa and our communities around the theme of “Increasing the effectiveness of Community Radio in Poverty Reduction, Good Governance and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.”

We have reflected on the goals of community broadcasting which is rooted in communities, independent of private and government interests, giving voice to the people, enabling dialogue and communication access as a vital tool for empowerment, for claiming our rights and for building an equitable and sustainable society.

We have reflected on the conference theme through plenary presentations and discussions groups, parallel activities, such as those of the Women International Network Assembly, the training of trainers and knowledge sharing workshops and the AMARC Africa General Assembly. These were highlighted as alternative dimensions of participatory and effective engagement strategies in pursuit of an alternative media and worldview.

We have discussed vivid accounts centered on the contribution of AMARC Africa in issues such as Contribution to Radio for conflict resolution and good governance; Strategies for community radio recognition and development; the challenges to community radio on climate change and communication rights; on content development for community radio and on reinforcing women rights and gender equality strategies.

The 4th Pan African Conference of AMARC Africa takes place against the background of a global economic recession that has rolled back the internationally shared goals to reduce poverty, exclusion and voicelessness exploitation. However, even in these challenging times, community radio practitioners have shown resilience, courage and conviction in pursuit of democracy, human rights and sustainable development.

From the discussions, we have come out with a greater clarity of issues, confidence and a collective spirit to tackle the challenges and increase the effectiveness of community radio in the construction of a better world and have adopted the following declaration:

On conflict resolution and good governance:

Considering that:

Community Radios have played a decisive role in contributing to the restoration of peace in Cote d’Ivoire after the cessation of the northern part of the country by an armed rebellion in 2001 and are presently taking part in the United Nations’ sponsored Disarmament, Demobilization and Reconstruction (DDR) process. In Liberia, Community Radio stations are contributing to the reinforcement of peace and the reconstruction of the country after the civil war by facilitating the participation of the entire population in the electoral processes and by providing a communication channel to the country’s poverty reduction programs. In Kenya, Community Radio stations have helped in restoring peace and reconciliation among communities which have been torn apart during the recent post elections violence. Community radio stations have contributed to good governance and the fight against corruption, and to increase awareness on development challenges from HIV/AIDS to women empowerment and gender equality, gender, corruption, the electoral process and good governance. In Zimbabwe, community radio stations have promoted citizens’ participation in governance, social justice and the independence of civil society from government,

AMARC Africa will continue to support community radio journalists, producers and managers with skills development programs and adequate equipment so as to ensure the sustainability of the stations, increase their appropriation by the local communities and thus better voice their development concerns, and contribute to good governance and conflict resolution.

AMARC Africa will particularly develop and implement research, monitoring and knowledge sharing activities to better understand, highlight and publicize good practices and the specific challenges to community media working for conflict resolution and governance.

On the strategies for community radio recognition and development

As perspectives from South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana which are reflective of many other countries in the continent indicated that the level of recognition and development of community radio is still very uneven in those countries,

We recommend that:

Advocacy and policy research continue to be supported to achieve improvement in the policy, legal and regulatory environment for community media and for the right to communicate.

Training, not only in technical skills, but also in management techniques and fundraising.

The implementation of a mechanism to reinforce the solidarity of the African community media movement across countries, notably in response to urgent calls from community radios threatened with closure or other state interference.

On the Challenges to Community Radio in Climate Change and Communications Rights:

We recommend that:

Community radios increase the awareness of African communities on the necessity of taking into account the impact of climate change on development and to promote alternative technologies.

Community radios produce and broadcast specific programs on such topics as: the impacts of climate change on agriculture, health, nutrition and politics. Locally observed changes such the drying up of water sources, green house effects, disappearance of vegetal and animal species ; the effects of extractive activities; the strategies of communities to adapt etc.

Community radio should also facilitate understanding of climate change by the various community stakeholders and promote alternative technologies. We underline the importance, the urgency and the necessity for community broadcasters to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the local population about climate change as the basis for program production.

On Community Radio Content for Development & Gender Equality Strategies:

Considering that community radio stations are created to provide platforms for marginalized people but that surveys continue to indicate that women and youth are most marginalized, especially at management levels,

We recommend that:

Promotion of gender equality and women’s rights, to make women’s voices heard, to combat gender-based discrimination and to strengthen women’s participation in community media at all level continue to be a specific objective in AMARC’s overall strategy and particularly for AMARC Africa.

And that:

Training, both formal and informal, is available for women at all levels – management, production, mission, vision, etc. Gender training should also be available for all participants.

Advocacy, knowledge sharing and networking at multiple levels and with multiple communication methods and channels is strengthened.

International campaigns on specific issues concerning women’s rights, women in the media or/gender discrimination are regularly organized.

On reinforcing the social impact of community radios in covering HIV/AIDS

Considering that:

HIV/AIDS presents a huge challenge to development workers across the globe and more specifically to Africa where the number of new infections continues to grow daily and that people have the right to information about prevention, treatment, care and support of those living with HIV/AIDS,

We recommend that:

Support to knowledge sharing, research, monitoring and knowledge exchange on the coverage of HIV /AIDS increases,

Support partnerships with community media to produce and exchange relevant programs that address the needs of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS are organized.

Participation of community media reporters in international forum and Special Broadcast Campaigns are supported.

On Reinforcing Community Radio Networks:

We recommend the strengthening of the AMARC structure and the improvement of its functioning at the country, regional, continental and international levels.

We recommend that the establishment of alliances between community media and other networks and social movements remains a major objective for AMARC.

To that effect, we recommend that institutional support from AMARC and its partners should be directed to national and regional networks in priority for advocacy to ever expand freedom of expression; to create and consolidate an enabling environment for the growth of community media, to reinforce capacities and to provide equipment.

We recommend also that evaluation and monitoring of the said networks is implemented to ensure their organizational development.

We recommend finally that AMARC develop cooperation and exchanged with African inter governmental bodies at the continental and regional levels, (UE, ECOWAS, SADC and EAC) in order to reinforce its structure and networks.

On the Evaluation of the social impact of community radio

Considering that Communication and communication rights are a basic human right and that Community Radio is, by definition, at the center of a communication for development process that involves all the community.

Considering that Community Radio is not only a media outlet to reach a community but also a project on its own right, that gives voice to the voiceless, empowers the excluded and fosters the community to express, to be heard and to organise itself.

We recommend that:

The evaluation of the social impact of community radio be highlighted to increase the recognition of Community Radio contribution to development, democracy building and good governance, that action research social impact evaluation mechanisms become a tool for community radio practitioners to reinforce fulfillment of their mission by strengthening the interaction between the radio and community actors and increasing the quality and the meaningfulness of radio programming.
That AMARC support the use by community radios of action research and other methodological instruments including quality and quantity approaches in order to define strategies to increase the social impact of community radios;

That every community media evaluate its social impact on an ongoing basis combining short, medium and long term impact assessment and in a systematic way so as to ensure that it receives feedback from its audience on a regular basis.

The Reconstruction of AMARC Africa

During the 4th Pan African conference, AMARC Africa General Assembly convened and elected a new board of directors and defined strategic orientations for AMARC-Africa for 2009-2013. The members of AMARC Africa also adopted a new Constitution defining a new governance structure responding to accumulated experience of the network. The mandate given to the new board is also indicative of the desire to rebuild AMARC Africa and adhere to the principles and rules of engagement of AMARC International.

We are indeed confident that following a long and participatory reconstruction process AMARC Africa is ready to confront the challenges of adding much needed value to its member radios and federations actions and, with its partners support, increase the effectiveness of Community radio in the combat against poverty, exclusion and voicelessness and to promote social justice and sustainable democratic and participatory human development in Africa.

 

OUR MEDIA 8 Conference to be Held in Bogota, Colombia

“OURMedia 8” will be held in Bogota, Colombia in July 26-31, 2009. This year theme is “Comunicacion, Conflicto y Convivencia: Narrativas Individuales y Colectivas”. Please visit: http://ourmedianetwork.org/?q=node/485

2nd AMARC Asia Pacific Conference, Bangalore, India

The Asia Pacific region of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC Asia Pacific, will hold its 2nd Regional conference and Assembly from 10-13 October 2009 in Bangalore, India. The conference will be hosted by VOICES, a Bangalore based NGO working to promote community broadcasting in India.

The regional conference will bring together community radio broadcasters, activists, academics, policy makers, and representatives of the donor community and governments to review the development of the community broadcasting in the Asia Pacific region in the last 4 years. It will take a careful look at thematic areas of development such as the empowerment of women within the CR sector, the role of community broadcasting in peace building, it’s role in the face of global climate change and at times of natural disasters as well as for poverty eradication. The regional conference will address practical issues such as capacity building in areas of management, technology, community participation, monitoring and evaluation, media convergence, and networking and the conference will recommend steps that will ensure the way forward for the CR sector in the region. The 2nd Regional Assembly of AMARC Asia-Pacific will be held in conjunction with the Regional Conference.

The Asia Pacific chapter of AMARC was formally established in November 2005 by the 1st Regional Assembly of AMARC’s members in the Asia Pacific region during the regional conference held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Conference provided a significant push to Community Radio in the Region by bringing together practitioners from Asia-Pacific and beyond along with experts and NGO representatives from the community media and communications rights sector. The Jakarta Regional Assembly elected a regional board and decided upon an action plan aimed at developing the community broadcasting sector in the region. As per the statutes of AMARC Asia Pacific, the regional assembly is held every four years.

For information visit: http://asiapacific.amarc.org/index.php?p=2_Conference_Asia_Pacific_2009


 

 

Resources

   

New Publication Section of Written Resources in AMARC Website.

Please visit the new section of publications and written resources such as articles, manuals and others on community broadcasting issues at the AMARC Website http://www.amarc.org . Using the wiki platform you can also add new documents or send them to the International secretariat at secretariat@si.amarc.org

Citizen Empowerment for Good Governance through Community Radio in Western Africa - Legislative and Policy Frameworks - Compilation of documents for an Action-Research to Remove Barriers and Increase the Social Impact of Community Radio / World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Africa - AMARC Africa - Montreal, December 2008, 55 pages.

http://amarcwiki.amarc.org/upload/documents/livre_AMARC_OSIWA_EN__.pdf

• Diciembre 2008: producción del CD Picante parlante.

Stories from a gender perspective.

http://podcast.agenciapulsar.org

Gritos en el coro de señoritas.
Women's political ownership through media.
AMARC ALC y ALER, Buenos Aires, 2008 - 63 pages. The book is available only in Spanish.

http://www.amarc.org/documents/manuals/Gritos_en_el_coro_de_senoritas.pdf

Atrapa sueños.
Community and popular radio sustanability
ALER y AMARC ALC, Buenos Aires, 2008. 48 pages. The book is available only in Spanish.

http://www.amarc.org/documents/manuals/Atrapa_suenos_1.pdf


Community Radio and the Post Election Violence in Kenya - By Matu Ngui - World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Africa (AMARC-Africa), 2008 - 43 pages.
• Download document as PDF = Community Radio and the Post Election Violence in Kenya

Community Media Sustainability Guide - The Business of Changing Lives by Jean Fairbairn, Publisher Internews
http://www.internews.org/prs/2009/20090225_mediaguide.shtm
Publication date, Feb 26 2009
To freely access to the guide in PDF format copy the link into your browser.
http://www.internews.org/pubs/pdfs/InternewsCommunityMediaGuide2009.pdf
Internews website http://www.internews.org

 

The International Secretariat

Flor Maria Balbin, Administrative Assistant
Dominique Legendre, Accountant and financial assistant to projects
Marcelo Solervicens, Secretary General
Ricardo Costa, Project Consultant
Nick Fillmore, Project development Consultant
Jean Philippe Theberge, ICT Consultant

Dear Member, renew your Membership

For more information on how to proceed, please contact your regional office or at the international secretariat, secretariat@si.amarc.org

Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters AMARC, brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 115 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983 has been to accompany and support the establishment of a world wide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighborhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and Cooperation. For further information visit http://www.amarc.org

2009 AMARC